Amazon has agreed to buy more than half of the power available from the new Moray West offshore wind farm in Scotland as the tech giant continues to invest in renewable energy.
It has agreed to a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 473MW with the wind farm, which will be operational later this year. Moray West will be capable of generating a total of 882MW once up and running and will be operated by Ocean Winds, a joint venture between energy providers EDP Renewables and Engie.
Amazon buys Scottish wind power
Amazon says it is purchasing enough energy from Moray West to power 650,000 homes.
Lindsay McQuade, director of energy for the EMEA region of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud platform, said: “Transitioning to carbon-free energy sources is one of the most impactful ways to lower carbon emissions, and is part of our climate pledge commitment to reach net zero carbon across our operations by 2040.
“Projects like Moray West will play a critical role in decarbonizing Amazon’s operations and the UK grid, with this agreement demonstrating Amazon’s commitment to this ambition.”
The deal is one of 19 PPAs Engie has signed in the last year, meaning it has a PPA portfolio of 7.3GW.
“Moray West reflects our strategy to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world, through investing in renewable generation technologies," said Paulo Almirante, Engie’s senior executive vice-president for renewables and energy management activities.
"Furthermore, the innovative character of this PPA shows that it is possible to create, together with Amazon, the conditions to achieve the UK objectives of renewables deployment and net-zero economy. This deal strengthens Engie’s leadership position for PPAs, through which Engie has sold a substantial capacity of renewable electricity generated by its wind and solar assets.”
Power from the Moray West wind farm is in high demand among the cloud hyperscalers, with Google having struck a 100MW PPA with Ocean Winds to help green the new data center campus it is planning in Hertfordshire.
Clean energy buying key to Amazon’s net zero ambitions
As reported by DCD, Amazon claims it was the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world in 2023, and invested in more than 100 new solar and wind energy projects. In total, it says it has backed 500 different schemes which generate 77,000 GWh of power each year.
It uses PPAs to introduce more renewable energy into the grid and offset the emissions from its data centers and other operations. The company is aiming to reach net zero by 2040, and wants all its operations powered by renewable energy by the end of 2025.
However, the value of PPAs as a way of cutting emissions has also been questioned. A study published last year by academics from Princeton University's ZERO Lab found that large energy purchases can have unintended results. They can simply displace emissions, or fail to stimulate net new energy production, the paper said.